Max Heinzelmann Dies Aged 26

3 years ago
Max Heinzelmann Dies Aged 26
07 Jun

The troubled German poker pro, Maximilian ‘Max’ Heinzelmann, who cashed for close to $2million in tournaments over the years including several deep runs in EPT and WSOP events, has died aged just twenty-six, German newspapers and websites have reported.

The young German, known online as ‘HotKarlMC’, shot to prominence in the poker world when he took two consecutive runner-up spots in EPT Main Events, firstly in Berlin where he won €500,000 ($711,602) and then barely 3 weeks later when he again finished 2nd at EPT San Remo, this time for €600,000 ($874,508).

Despite these huge scores, Heinzelmann was the subject of great controversy when he was publicly outed on the 2+2 forum for borrowing money from dozens of sources and not repaying it, the thread titled: ‘My dealings with Max Heinzelmann’ posted back in September of 2014.

Heinzelmann himself quickly responded, stating that:

“I am very well aware of what I did, and yes I did lie to a lot of people about what I did just to cover up what I did. I’m trying to figure out paying everyone back at this point and fixing and owning up to my mistakes. I don’t ever expect to have anyone respecting me again or anything for what I’ve done, and that’s fine. I’ve ****ed up and I’m very well aware of that. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and I’m ashamed of the way I handled it. I’ll do my best to pay everyone back as quickly as I can and make sure that I own up to what I’ve done wrong. I’m in contact with the people that I owe money to and I’m trying to correct this as quickly as I can.”

On the news of his death last week no cause was given, with many poker fans online suggesting that Max may have taken his own life, however his former girlfriend Lanni Deskins has stated that:

"Max suffered many health issues throughout his life and he passed in his sleep. The police ruled that he died of natural causes.” She added that, “He made bad choices but truly wanted to fix his mistakes.”

German poker site posted an article which stated:

“Max Heinzelmann has gone through all the ups and downs of a poker player. Now he has found the eternal rest. On May 31 Max died, on Friday (June 9th) he will be buried buried. RIP!”

They continued:

“After doing some things that he was not proud of, he tried to get his life back in order. He also contacted us with the request to allow him to start a new life by removing various messages.”

However, the site itself apparently came under some fire after initially heading the obituary 'seat open' at first, which they changed to ‘Ruhe in Frieden!’ after people complained. 

His parents and family posted an obituary in the local Ostalbtrauer newspaper which read ‘Suddenly and unfathomably you have been taken from us too early. In love and mourning…’ along with a poem which read:

“If you look for me, look for me in your heart, It is there that I have found a sense of belonging, where I shall always accompany you."

Max Heinzelmann R.I.P. 02/07/1990 – 31/05/2017

Articles 1944

Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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KBirdKBirdon 7/6/17

Max was an incredibly generous, kind, funny and brilliant human being. For those he loved, he loved them without judgment and with all his heart. Many do not know the adversities Max overcame in his early life, none of which he brought on himself. Many could NOT have survived what Max was able to survive. He smile was infectious and his laugh like hearing your favorite catchy song. I know he went through a rough time with regard to the poker world brought on by another tragic loss in his life but he was a gifted player and with time, I know all would have been settled. Max was a son to me and I will miss him with all my heart. I hope the Poker World will see fit to remove the horrible threads posted about him and honor the memory of a player who at 21 made a dent in Poker history with one of the most memorable plays in Poker history and who left this world before he was able to win the Big one which we all know he would have done had God not needed another amazing Angel.